Prepared by the Federal Taxation Committee of the Massachusetts Society of CPAs, Inc. Updated in 2010

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1 The Record Retention Guide repared by the Federal Taxation Committee of the Massachusetts Society of CAs, Inc. Updated in 2010

2 Table of Contents age Introduction 2 Accounting Systems 3 Corporate Records 3,4 Fixed Assets 4 Accounting Firms 4 Human Resources 4,5 Insurance 5 Legal 5 ayroll 5,6 Security 6 Taxation 6 Miscellaneous 6 Individual Records 7 How to rove Certain Business Expenses 8 Substantiation for Charitable Deductions 9

3 The Record Retention Guide INTRODUCTION Businesses must maintain book and records so that an accounting of the business activities may be performed. Whether it be for an audited financial report, a compilation, a review, a tax return, or a specific management report, businesses must gather, summarize and analyze facts and figures to support reports, tax returns and conclusions. After the report is issued and/or the tax return is filed, the next important question is just how long must these business records be retained. This handbook offers some guidance by providing a suggested time-frame to maintain records. It has been assimilated from several sources, including the basic IRS Regulation - 26 CFR , The Guide of Record Retention Requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations, as well as by reviewing and analyzing numerous record retention schedules. Before finalizing an entity s record retention procedures, it is recommended that the IRS regulations, state and local government retention requirements and the AICA s Filing and Record Retention rocedures Guide be reviewed. lease note: The suggested retention periods shown are not offered as final authority, but as guideposts against which to compare your needs. There may be several situations, for historical or reference purposes, for example, that necessitate longer periods than legally required. In addition, many specific industries require retention periods that are different than rated here for specific terms. In most cases, the period of retention listed in this guide provides a more conservative retention period. Additionally, in all circumstances, be aware that the Materiality Rule under Treas. Reg , governs that all books and records must be maintained so long as they remain material in the computation of any tax. Finally, if you are subject to the new rules promulgated by The Sarbanes Oxley Act, SEC 17CFR, pay careful attention to section which requires that work papers and other documents that form the basis of an audit or review, including memos, correspondence and which contain opinions, analysis or financial data, including those that are inconsistent with the auditor s final opinion, be retained for a period of 7 years. The reader should consult with more authoritative guidance when specific questions need answering. Note: lease keep in mind that documentation may include all electronic files and memos. This can include, but is not limited to such items as s, tax software files, general ledger files,.pdf files or any other form of information retention that is created and/or stored electronically.

4 Record Retention Guide for Business ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS SUGGESTED RETENTION ERIOD Accounts ayable Ledger 7 Accounts Receivable Aging Reports 7 Accounts Receivable Ledger 7 Accounts Receivable Invoices 7 Accounts Written-off 7 Authorization - Accounting 5 Balance Sheets Bank Reconciliations 7 Bank Statements 7 Bank Deposit Slips 3 Budgets 3 Canceled Checks 10 Cancelled Dividend Checks Cash Book Cash Disbursement & Receipt Record Cash Sales Slips 7 Charge Slips 7 Charts of Accounts Check Register Expense Reports 7 Financial Statements General Ledger Investment - Sales/urchases Journal Entries etty Cash Records 7 rofit/loss Statements urchase Order 7 Subsidiary Ledger Trial Balance Vendor Invoices 7 Voucher Check Copies 7 CORORATE RECORDS SUGGESTED RETENTION ERIOD Amendments Annual Reports Articles of Incorporation Audit Reports - ublic Audit - Internal 6 Board of Directors - Committee Board of Directors - Minute Book Bylaws Capital Stock Certificates

5 CORORATE RECORDS CONTINUED SUGGESTED RETENTION ERIOD Capital Stock Ledger Capital Stock Transactions Charter Contracts - After Termination Contributions 7 Correspondence - Accounting 5 Correspondence - General Dividend Register and Cancelled Dividend Checks Election Records Financial Statements Organizational Charts artnership Agreement Stock Transfer Records Stockholders - Minute Book FIXED ASSETS Depreciation Schedule Inventory Records lans and Blueprints lant Cost Ledger roperty Appraisals roperty Register Records for roperty Subject to Depletion ACCOUNTING FIRMS SUGGESTED RETENTION ERIOD SUGGESTED RETENTION ERIOD Tax Return reparers 4 Tax Returns repared 4 HUMAN RESOURCES SUGGESTED RETENTION ERIOD Accident Reports - Settled 7 Attendance Records 7 Dental Benefits 5 Disability Benefits - After Expiration/Settlement 7 Employee Medical History 7 Employment Application - Not Hired 3 Garnishments 5 Life Insurance Benefits 5 Medical Benefits 7 ension lan Agreement erformance Record - After Termination 7 ersonnel File - After Termination 7 ersonnel Files - Current Employees rofit Sharing Agreement Safety Reports 5

6 HUMAN RESOURCES CONTINUED SUGGESTED RETENTION ERIOD Vacation Files 4 Workers Compensation Benefits 10 Sick ay 4 Family & Medical Leave 3 INSURANCE SUGGESTED RETENTION ERIOD Automobile Insurance Claims 10 Disability Insurance Claims - After Termination 7 Expired Insurance olicies 10 Fire Inspection Reports 6 Insurance Appraisals 6 Safety Records 6 Foreign Insurance olicies 3 LEGAL SUGGESTED RETENTION ERIOD Bill of Sale Business ermits Claims and Litigation Concerning Torts and Breach of Contract Contracts - Employees Contracts - Government Contracts - Labor Union Contracts - Special Copyrights Correspondence - Legal Deeds/Titles Leases/Canceled 10 Licenses Mortgages Notes Receivable - Canceled 10 atents Stock and Bond Record Trademarks - Registered AYROLL SUGGESTED RETENTION ERIOD Contractors 3 years from date of completion of contract Checks - ayroll 7 Commission Reports - Salesperson 6 Employee Withholding Exemption Certificates 10 ayroll Register 4 ayroll Records - After Termination 10 Salary History 8 Time Reports 7

7 AYROLL CONTINUED SUGGESTED RETENTION ERIOD W-2 Forms Vacation/Sick ay 4 Large Food or Beverage Establishment Reporting Tips 3 Employee Tip Substantiation 3, *** SECURITY SUGGESTED RETENTION ERIOD Classified Material Violations Visitor Clearance 2 TAXATION SUGGESTED RETENTION ERIOD Tax Free Reorganization 338 Election 7 years Canceled Checks - Tax ayments Correspondence - Tax Depreciation Schedules Income Tax Returns Inventory Reports FUTA/FICA/Income Tax Withholding 4 ayroll Tax Returns Revenue Agent Reports Sales Tax Returns NOL Company ** AMT NOL Company ** Transfer ricing 4 MISCELLANEOUS SUGGESTED RETENTION ERIOD Receiving Documents 10 Title apers Vehicle Operating and Maintenance 2 Telecommunication Copies 1 repaid Dues Income 4 Financial Institution Loan Loss Reserves Mutual Savings Bank bad Debt Reserve

8 Record Retention Guide for Individuals INDIVIDUAL RECORDS SUGGESTED RETENTION ERIOD Tax Return Copies Medical Receipts 7 Forms 1099 Received 7 Forms W2 Received 401 K/Keogh Statements 7* IRA Statements (deductible & nondeductible) 7/ Loan Records / Forms * Annuity Year End Statements 7* Insurance olicies Life Insurance olicies Other 7 Major urchase Receipts 7 Year-end Brokerage Statements/Trade Confirmations 7* Certificates of Deposit Statements 7 Schedule K-1 sfrom artnership or S Corporation 7* House Records (cancelled checks for purchase of major improvements and maintenance) Birth and Death Certificates Medical Records Wills Trust Agreements Detailed List of Financial Assets Held Alimony, Custody or renuptial Agreements Military apers hotos or Videotape of Valuables = ermanent records. Numeric = Suggested retention period in years. *7 years following disposition, termination or payoff. **Maintain permanent records of all the facts necessary for the first taxable year and each succeeding year in which there is a NOL or NOL Carryover. This includes records necessary to determine the identity of 5% shareholders, the percentage of it stock owned be each 5% shareholder and whether IRC Section 382 is applicable. ***As long as the contents there-of may become material in the administration of any Internal Revenue Law.

9 How To rove Certain Business Expenses IF you have THEN you must keep records that show details of the following elements: expenses for: Amount Time lace or Description Business urpose and Business Relationship Travel Cost of each separate expense for travel, lodging and meals. Incidental expenses may be totaled in reasonable categories such as taxis, daily meals for traveler, etc. Dates you left and returned for each trip and number of days spent on business Destination or area of you travel (name of city, town, or other designation). urpose: Business purpose for the expense of the business benefit gained or expected to be gained. Relationship: N/A Entertainment Gifts Cost of each separate expense. Incidental expense such as taxis, telephones, etc., may be totaled on a daily basis. Cost of the Gift Fair Market Value as of Date of Gift. Date of entertainment. (Also see Business urpose.) Date of the Gift Name and address of location of place of entertainment. Type of entertainment if not otherwise apparent. (Also see Business urpose.) Description of the Gift urpose: Business purpose for the expense of the business benefit gained or expected to be gained. For entertainment, the nature of the business discussion or activity. If the entertainment was directly before or after a business discussion: the date, place, nature, and duration of the business discussion and the identities of the persons who took part in both the business discussion and the entertainment activity. Transportation Cost of each separate expense. For car expense, the cost of the car and any improvement, the date you started using it for business, the mileage for each business use and the total miles for the year. Date of the expense. For car expense, the date of the use of the car. Your business destination. Relationship: Occupations or other information (such as names, titles, or other designations) about the recipients that shows their business relationship to you. For entertainment, you must also prove that you or your employee was present if the entertainment was a business meal. urpose: Business purpose for the expense. Relationship: N/A

10 Substantiation for Charitable Deductions IF you have charitable deductions, then you must keep records that show details of the following elements: Amount Substantiation Less than $250 More than $250 More than $5,000 In writing by receipt or by pay stub for /R deduction As above, plus contemporaneous written acknowledgement of cash amount or description of goods donated, and statement of goods or services received in exchange. Manner of acquisition and cost basis. As above, and needs written appraisal.

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